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Kitchen Planning

How do you create a "no mistakes" kitchen while you have the chance ahead of time??? It's not easy, but remember this: 

A kitchen is not a living room with moveable fixtures! A kitchen can't be changed later to correct problems without great expense. Thus, planning correctly now can save thousands of dollars, as well as many regrets, later on.

I. Identify your needs:

bulletDecide whether this is a long-term (or last) home, or a short-term home for you.
bulletBrainstorm your family's future in terms of growth and change. In this vein, consider children's ages and project their changing requirements over a 20- 25-year period. Also consider additional family members who may be moving into your home.
bulletConsider physical challenges these people now have, or could experience in the future; provisions made now could allow you or them to live in your home successfully longer. If you believe this will be a long-term home, it might be well to plan for advanced age situations and requirements.
bulletLook at the functions of each family member within the kitchen itself - the jobs they traditionally perform, or would like to do if the room were so equipped.
bulletOutside of the family, who else spends time in the kitchen? 
bulletWhen entertaining, how many friends use the room?
bulletSeating requirements should be established both for everyday use, and for typical mode of entertaining, keeping in mind that the kitchen is not intended to also be a dining room in most homes.
bulletCooking requirements may be established in several ways: 
bulletequipment desired
bulletnumber of cooks typically in the kitchen
bulletby task or jobs to be performed in the room
bulletmaximum capacity (typical of holiday needs)
bulletStorage needs: Know exactly what you want to store, particularly for everyday needs: excess or unusual requirements (such as extra sets of china, grill equipment, stuff used once a year); pet food; unusual cooking equipment; medicines, etc. Long term storage for additional supplies, particularly if you live a distance from grocery stores, etc., can usually be arranged away from the kitchen area proper. Another consideration for storage is frequency of trips to the store.

II. Evaluate Your Space:

You will need a space planner to assist you with this, but you basically want to look at the room you have as it is, with the windows, doors, closets and idiosyncrasies, in order to begin formulating a plan for the room. To be successful, this plan must include ways to meet the needs you've already established.

III. Establish Several Floor Plan Possibilities:

Sketching to scale is the method to use here, as nothing is permanent; all you are trying to do now is determine the various options you have within the space available.

If you are still in the stages of planning your home with an architect, good! This means that if a wall or door needs to be shifted somewhat, it can usually be accommodated. If your home is already under construction, you don't have the time to make those changes, which are also very costly. Thus, you will need to work with existing conditions (as do those who are renovating existing homes).

IV. Finalize Your Plan:

Final drawings with detail should be drawn for your kitchen, so as to minimize mistakes and misunderstandings. These should include: 

bulletFloor Plan
bulletElevations or Perspectives drawings (so you can "see" what it will look like)
bulletLighting/Electrical Plan

If you've planned in final details, large-scale drawings of moldings, decorative elements, edges, etc, might be appropriate. These plans should include exact manufacturers, model numbers, and sizes where needed. It would be difficult to over emphasize the importance of establishing this information early, and communicating it clearly to contractor and all sub-contractors.

V. Determine All Products:

Cabinetry, countertops, light fixtures, hardware, special features or products: All by manufacturer, model number and size! If at all possible, a full list should be included with the plans described above and distributed to everyone associated with the project.

Note : When you choose products to be installed in your home, you are actually choosing the local company who represents those (and other) products. You should fully investigate all companies you intend to transact business with, to be certain that they will provide what you expect, at the price quoted (in writing), and will stand behind their products and installation. Ask the questions and weigh answers carefully. You are the customer, and you must be comfortable with all factors of each choice. The time to evaluate these critical factors is before you choose.

VI. Budgeting for the Products:

Consider: The best kitchens aren't the most expensive, but they are the most interesting, fun to use and those that age gracefully. The best value for your home probably isn't the least expensive. The ideal is: all products of similar quality, well installed, and harmonious together. Thus, it's not smart and it doesn't look good to have a $4,000 built-in refrigerator with do-it-yourself-store cabinets and tops. Go ahead and put a nice GE in that situation, and the whole picture works. Fancy and expensive granite countertops on a $4,000 kitchen not only look foolish now, but when the cheap doors and drawers fail in a few years, the granite's going strong! Renovations are very expensive and kitchens work hard! Thus, the wise consumer budgets generously for this hard working and long-lasting room. A rule of thumb is 10% of the value of the home (and lot) for the kitchen; thus a $400,000 home would have $40.000 worth of kitchen cabinetry, countertops and appliances. Conversely, a $200,000 home should have $20,000 worth...

VII. Enjoy the Building Process:

Be available if there's an unexpected bend in the road; things come up, even in nearly perfect projects. Just keep your cool, and rely on the professionals you hired to assemble this wonderful space for you!



bulletWhat kind of guarantee is there on the cabinetry?
bulletWhat kind of guarantee is there on the installation?
bulletWhat is the procedure if I am not happy with the products or installation of the products?
bulletWhat happens if I need something adjusted in a month or two, will there be a charge for that?

The answers to your inquiries will give you a full overview of a design firm’s ability and competence. A job completed should include a well-finished kitchen or bathroom installation as well as a satisfied client who gladly gives a referral.


bulletCommit to the person you've chosen.
bulletCreate an arrangement. Plan every detail - leave nothing to chance!
bulletPick out each & every product needed, noting sizes & finishes.
bulletLocate each product in the space.
bulletDouble check on everything by reviewing one last time.
bulletIf you feel 100% comfortable, now is the time to order.
bulletRelax while everything is being ordered for you.

When installation day arrives, be ready! Do everything that was your responsibility in plenty of time to be prepared for the final stage. As your products arrive, the excitement builds as you see your dreams become reality.

As everything is assembled for you, you should be in close touch with the person installing. ASK QUESTIONS - if a problem comes up it should be dealt with promptly & to your complete satisfaction. At each step, the professional you hired originally should be shoulder to shoulder with you, making sure everything develops as planned.

With your professional, you have single source responsibility from the beginning to the end - assuring you that the finished result you so carefully planned does become a reality in your home, and will continue to pay off for you and your family for many years to come!

By working with a professional, this entire process should be enjoyable for you, and should fulfill your hopes and dreams!


How Much Does a Kitchen Cost?

The total cost of your kitchen is derived from the total of all the following individual items:

  Your Kitchen National Average
Cabinetry   $ 9,000 - $ 30,000
Countertops   $ 1,450 - $ 12,000
Flooring   $ 850 -$ 3,500
Appliances   $ 1,500 - $ 15,000
Wallpaper/Paint   $ 500 - $ 3,500
Construction   $ 0 - $ 40,000
Plumbing: Labor   $ 250 - $ 3,500
Plumbing Fixtures   $ 650 - $ 2,000
Electrical Work: Labor   $ 500 - $ 3,500
Electrical Fixtures   $ 750 - $ 4,000
Permits & Licenses   $ 225 - $ 750
Professional Fees   $ 975 - $ 2,500

Kitchen Remodeling Preparation

We at 3D Remodeling Inc.  want to help you to, (in every way possible), minimize renovation disruption, so that in the process of removing the old kitchen and gaining the new, you have a positive experience on the whole.

Let's take a brief look at what will actually take place. These steps are predictable and most importantly manageable if you are well prepared. We make every effort in our capacity to work with speed and consideration, and with your proper preparation, we'll achieve results that will more than make up for minor problems along the way. The steps in renovation are:

bulletComplete demolition of existing cabinetry, flooring, countertops, light fixtures and plumbing.
bulletRemoval of all appliances.
bulletConstruction of walls, closets, etc.; this includes framing, insulation, sheetrock hanging and finishing (sheetrock requires 3 coats of "mud" with complete drying between coats, prior to sanding and finishing).
bulletRoughing-in of new plumbing lines and capping or re-routing old lines.
bulletRemoval of old wiring and running new electrical wiring to new locations (beware that extensive electrical work may be needed in houses that have out-of-date electrical systems).
bulletPriming of walls, ceilings and wood trim for paint of wall paper. The floor may also need advance preparation prior to receiving the new floor covering.
bulletDelivering of cabinetry: You'd be amazed at how many pieces, parts and cabinets are needed to complete an average kitchen (25-30). Room for them to be stored temporarily until they can be installed is really important.
bulletCabinet installation takes the least time if the room is ready, but leveling of base cabinets is the beginning. There is a lot of lifting, moving, juggling and fine fitting necessary in a great installation.
bulletCountertops: Some types are more "labor-intensive" than others, and thus, take longer. But, in all cases, the counter in the sink area must be completed prior to a return trip by the plumber for sink installation. (This is one of our highest priorities: To have the new sink installed as soon as possible!)
bullet"Trimming out" plumbing and electrical fixture, dishwasher, sink, oven (s), microwave, cook top, compactor, etc. Often, in addition to the plumber and electrician, we hire an appliance installer, whose sole responsibility is to install tricky appliances.
bulletFinish painting, wallpaper hanging and flooring installation


Kitchen Remodeling Suggestions

How Should You Prepare Yourself and Your Family for a Kitchen Renovation?

  1. In the weeks before the work begins, keep a list of all those restaurants you've been meaning to try. When the microwave gets old, your list will come in handy for a quick escape!
  2. Before the cabinets arrive - decide on a safe enclosed area for the cabinets and appliances to be delivered to. Usually the garage is a good location.
  3. Pack up the kitchen (or bathroom) well before the remodel. While it's a great time to "spring clean" your shelves, don't forget to label the storage boxes well. This will make the unpacking process a lot easier and a lot more fun! Items that are fragile should be marked accordingly and stored in an area away from the construction.
  4. Plan a location outside of the area where the remodeling is being done to act as your temporary kitchen. Don't forget:
    bulletThe fridge!
    bulletYou maybe able to temporarily move everything you need…except the kitchen sink!
    bulletConsider where your "water source" will be in relation to your temporary kitchen.
    bulletMicrowave (and a freezer stocked with microwavable meals!)
    bulletIn a fond farewell to you old kitchen, spend some time in it, cooking. Make family favorites and throw them in the freezer. We promise you…you'll thank yourself later!
    bulletCoffee Maker (don't forget to put the filters and coffee close at hand too!)
    bulletUtility utensils, such as: can opener, bottle/wine opener, sharp knives, and microwavable dishes.
    bulletKeep the basics handy: butter, salt & pepper, favorite spices
    bulletDining area/table
    bulletTell the kids you're picnicking…use paper plates & napkins as well as disposable silverware.
    bulletCleaning supplies and dishtowels
  5. G-SpacerOne.gif (43 bytes)If it's a bathroom remodel, pretend you're packing to go on a trip. Remember the hairdryer and curling iron!
  6. Don't forget about Fido & Kitty! If there isn't an area in your home to keep them safely away from construction, especially during certain phases - it maybe a perfect time to treat your pet to a vacation at the kennel or a play date at a friend's home.
  7. Decide in advance where you'd like the installers to store their tools.
  8. Dust…there's just no way to avoid it! If there is a fish tank or electrical equipment in close proximity to the work - remember to keep them well covered!


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Food for thought for your new kitchen

Kitchen for Two Cooks  Cabinets Make the Kitchen Shine Frequently Asked Questions                             
Eight Steps to a Safe Kitchen            Cabinetry as Furnitures Furniture; A Wise Investment Kitchen Planning  


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Kitchen & Bath
Design Center

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111 Lindbergh Ave.  Suite D
Livermore, CA 94551

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Last modified: May 19, 2009